Desert hero will warm your heart with innovative Sahara blues

Mdou Moctar is sometimes referred to as the Prince of the desert and is one of the most innovative artists currently active in the Sahara music scene. Despite the fact that his family strongly forbade the type of music he wanted to make, he built his own five-string guitar from wood scraps and brake cables and taught himself to play in secret. By now, the Niger musician is a world icon. He is renowned for his original compositions and evocative and poetical lyrics, dealing with subjects such as respect, honour and tradition. This year he released his album Ilana (The Creator), which deals with subjects such as women’s rights in Niger. Fans of bands like Tinariwen and Bombino should be sure to circle the date in their diaries so as not to miss out. Expect hypnotic rhythms, original and alluring guitar and grooves which will leave your garments rippling as if you’re travelling in a hot desert breeze.